Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children of Atlantic and Cape May Counties and its trained volunteers speak on behalf of abused and neglected children in the foster care system and are dedicated to ensuring these children are placed in safe permanent homes as quickly as possible.
CASA was founded in 1995 by former foster mother Mary who had seen decisions made for a child living in her home end with tragic results. She wanted to make sure that all children entering foster care had an independent voice in court who spoke just for them, providing an extra layer of protection. Mary’s vision continues today with over 200 CASA volunteers providing advocacy to 440 children in Atlantic and Cape May Counties in southern New Jersey.
Throughout our 20-year history, CASA has strategically grown in budget, board, staff, volunteers and children served. From a grass roots group founded in 1995 to a million dollar nonprofit in 2021, we have never swayed from our core mission of providing an advocate to every Atlantic and Cape May County child living in foster care. Basing every activity we undertake on strategic considerations that support our mission, vision and values, we continue to engage the community.
Adapting to changing environments has always been our organizational strength and this past year was truly a test and testament to that strength. Thanks to a diversified funding base, a strong staff and Board, our collaborative efforts with the courts, child welfare, and other related organizations we have maintained service to children in need – even going beyond our mandate by providing basic needs during the pandemic. Over the years, we have even introduced new specialty trainings for our volunteers that focus on youth educational achievement, medical advocacy, and mentoring for older youth.
Our commitment to educate the public, maintain relationships with key stakeholders and build positive working relationships with all involved has allowed us to use the power of our voice and standing in the community and the courts to advance the causes of the children we serve.
CASA Success Story
CASA youth Jarrod approached his 18th birthday without a home. His CASA volunteer encouraged him to stay in care until 21 so he could receive continued assistance. Taking his advice, Jarrod stayed in foster care and with his CASA’s assistance, entered college. Jarrod is now a junior, studying video production.